Ben was reading Love Does tonight when I walked into the youth center.
Ben = my super fantastic middle school leader
Love Does = incredible book by my friend Bob Goff
Youth Center = because it's summer and we're OPEN! I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22.
Anyways, Ben's reading Love Does, and I'm reminded how fantastic that book is, and I realize that's all I want this summer. I can mope about missing Florida...or bask in the wonder that I'm ACTUALLY back at the Grounds...whatever, but through it all I just want to love people and I want to do stuff.
And I don't just want to love people at face value, I want to fall madly in love with them. I want to be intrigued by who God is to them and what he's doing in their lives, I want to love the light in their eyes when they talk about what makes them come alive. Obviously I love my middle and high schoolers, that's easy. But I want to love more than that. I want to love my staff...not just for making my life easier, but I want to love them in a way where I know them, learn their stories, know who they are when they leave this place and what really gets them excited in life. The same is true for the rest of staff in other areas of camp.
Today I stopped by with my watermelon (because mmmm) to join the retirees around a table during their break time. I paused and just glanced around at the twelve-ish of them present, thinking wow...what wisdom I am surrounded by right now! So blessed. I want to know that wisdom and I want to love them for sharing it with me. Sometimes the store girls and lifeguards = DRAMA. (I can say that because I was one of them once...) But you know what? Ima love em anyways. Because they are 19 and that's what life is like and I love them for it. And then there's the lady who walks into the candy store complaining that "it's really hot in here" and the high schooler who's too cool for school and the mom who takes dodgeball WAY too seriously and the creeper in the woods and the the fourth grader sneaking into my activities and the Saturday morning early risers...I'm gonna just LOVE THEM ALL.
I finished off my "garden party patio" tonight...not just so I can enjoy it (which I do, A LOT) but so that others can! I want them to stop by, sit a while. Let's talk. I can't promise there will be cookies and lemonade in my fridge, but there's a 100% chance I'll have some hummus to share. I fall in love with people's stories. I can't wait for the stories that will be told on that patio this summer, and the love I will have for the storytellers.
You with me? Cuz I probably can't do it alone. It's hard to love everyone all the time. I know I'm not always lovable, so I can't hold people up to that standard. But I'm certainly going to try my hardest. I'm sure when it's August 11 and there's just "that one kid" someone will need to remind me of what I'm writing right now. Actually, please do. And then let's try to love him together.
"We love because he first loved us" - 1 John 4:19
PS. The best way to show love to the creeper in the woods may be by approaching him on the Safety and Security golf cart, siren light flashing. With someone big and strong at your side. Just sayin.